07-20-13 03:25 PM
56 123
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  1. Superfly_FR's Avatar
    A lot has been written, discussed and developed, so I will not dig into details here.
    But with so many articles, threads or blog posts still spreading the usual "doom and gloom", I stepped back and tried to put my thoughts together. What are the global and main points I'm funding what could appear as "guts feelings" ?

    1. They did it
    We tend to analyze every little piece of information we get, as often as on a hourly basis. We echo the single unknown sourced material we can grab here or there. And this results into a magma-tic blob where anything can be picked up as a signal of something happening.
    Zoom out, back 2 years ago. For 90% of "the street", RIM was dead. Even the most optimistic bulls gave 30% chances Thor will keep BlackBerry alive, mostly due to some kind of "break apart" strategy.
    BlackBerry is still here, in one single piece with a $3.1 Billion spoils of war.
    Nothing is perfect, there have been delays, EPS is negative and stock price is down under the $10 mark.
    But they're alive and kicking. That's a fact.

    2. Devices are good
    Yes, good. Not "leapfrogging the competition", not "the best you can find" but they at least compare to any best device in town.
    They embed an new OS 100% BlackBerry and loaded with its DNA : reliability and security (privacy) to name few.
    The UI is brilliant, 90% polished (that's HUGE for a 1st gen) and despite a learning curve that have to be addressed, those who use it just love it plain.

    3. Platform vision is ... visionary
    "Do different" is the best analogy (and friendly eye blink) I can find. Short : your mobile device is now your mainframe. As specs will raise in devices and OS 10.2 capabilities integrated (say "wireless HDMI" to point a single one), M2M (machine to machine) and the whole "platform" concepts will be proven true for Jims and Joes and, again, that's simply huge. "Cloud data" V.S "Cloud power" ... oh.my.gosh.

    4. Enterprises will love it
    At least with current large fleets, struggling to keep BYOD and MDM at a reasonable cost and at least "water resistant" (V.S BB "water proof") I have no doubt BES10 will be in the top 3 BYOD/MDM solution. Just a matter of time.

    5. Marketing is brilliant
    Yup, you read well. Because marketing is not promotion. Promotion is the - yet mostly important - "final touch" only.
    The fundamental marketing point is : the offer. Let's sum up the BlackBerry 10 offer, sorted by customers attempts (witch is what allows to define this offer). I'll name the first four (my perception).

    Joes :
    - Social differentiator and tools (I'll be back about it below)
    - Ease to use / sexiness
    - Competitive pricing
    - Reliability / Efficiency

    Enterprises :
    - ROI (in fact, we could stop here)
    - Consistency (manage, deploy, upgrade, scale, maintain, repair)
    - Trust (MTTF (mean time to failure), Company future (back on this later), certifications, partnerships)
    - Users adoption

    I believe both are very well served with BlackBerry current offer.

    6. "The art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting" (Sun Tzu - The art of war)
    Short : when you cannot fight with your enemies on their field, gain positions (at low costs) where they are not (fighting for). From there, you'll get advantages that will strength your overall position and will enable the final attack. Don't go frontal, time is your friend.
    This is what anyone could/should observe here. No "Strike back" no "Punitive revenge" no "blow up your a55". Instead, a methodical and surgical pawns placing. A chess game with 2 or 3 strokes ahead. Keep the queen (cash) safe until ...

    ... "It's time".

    7. Turn your opponents users into prescriber and value contributors
    This is probably what makes me the most confident. What BlackBerry is doing here is simply ... well I can't find a word strong enough.
    Let's look at the competition #1 strength : they lock their users into an so-called "ecosystem". What will BBM (Joes) and Secure Work Space (Enterprises) do ? Just break it. Plain. Basically this means that these "platform locked" devices won't be anymore.
    Hint ? Just figure BBM can offer online apps (a la FaceBook) or streaming contents (music, videos, ...). Do the maths now.


    Now, there' two points I wrote I'll be developing further, theses are IMHO the main cons :

    1. "Social differentiator"
    I'll left apart the "tools"; although they can be upgraded there's no real trouble in this area.
    The "differentiator" part is more challenging; While "BlackBerry" is still a very well known brand and recent operations have somehow refreshed its perception, there's still a lot to do to make it shine back as modern and trendy. Especially in the U.S.A, where BB is to appl/Samy what cathodic is to LCD. This is IMHO the biggest concern to gain this "hey, I sport a BB, datz kool" pride back.
    I for one would like (after the RIM trashing) the whole identity to be re-branded. New color, new logo, new tone: The full monty.

    2. "Company future"
    IMHO, the biggest barrier to adoption for companies sits here.
    I'm not a conspiracy theorist. But I believe competitors and some malicious traders (bears using shorts) do know that perfectly. As long as BlackBerry future is linked to its stock value and the incredible shorting rate, some CIOs will put the foot on the brake. This has to change.
    I for one would like BlackBerry to offer a join venture with selected partners. I may not have the same names in my head than those usually heard. I'd like to hear names like CISCO (because of the network) or SAP (for companies) ... and yes, definitely MS too (hint : why no BBM/SWS for windows ? It's not a technical obstacle).

    I'm sorry both my English and available time do not allow me to go deeper, in a more academic way for each of these 7 points. Each would probably deserve a full page, including some cons (I'm no blind). But my overall perception sits above.

    Have a good weekend folks , and stay cool below.
    I do not pretend this is bullet proof, I'm not bullet proof either .
    Just some cents as food for thought.

    Did I bought shares ? Yes I did.
    Am I scared sometimes ? Yes, I am.
    Am I optimistic ? See my signature
    Last edited by Superfly_FR; 07-13-13 at 05:11 AM.
    07-13-13 04:59 AM
  2. nquyen's Avatar
    I'm still learning about stocks but what would happen to my shares if BlackBerry decided to go private? Can they even do that?
    07-13-13 05:05 AM
  3. Thunderbuck's Avatar
    Very nicely put. I absolutely agree.

    There's a mentality that has set in; a sense that BB has already failed. Personally, I'm impressed that they even managed to get BB10 phones in release.

    As you say, it's an elegant UI, and a promising platform. I believe that the platform still has a chance to gain an audience as an alternative to Apple, Google, and Microsoft.

    BB has worked hard just to get here, and I'm proud of what they've done. It would be tragic if they couldn't somehow capitalize on it.
    07-13-13 05:12 AM
  4. Thunderbuck's Avatar
    I'm still learning about stocks but what would happen to my shares if BlackBerry decided to go private? Can they even do that?
    The company would have to buy out your stake.
    Superfly_FR likes this.
    07-13-13 05:16 AM
  5. m1a1mg's Avatar
    Superfly, I find value in everything you posted except one thing. #5 is completely not true. BBRY marketing is terrible.

    The stories we hear of adoption are anecdotal, and from what I've read here, mostly Canadian. It's great if you want to be the Canadian cell phone maker, but not much else.

    I'll take your 4 items and break them down:

    - Social differentiator and tools (I'll be back about it below) I don't get this at all. BBRY isn't a social phone in the US. How you get it to be is huge. Since I don't think they are marketing well, I can't see how this will come about.
    - Ease to use / sexiness Fair enough, you said it was your perception. But many are posting here about long term BBRY users having a hard time adjusting to the Q10.
    - Competitive pricing Other phones have been reduced as well, so it's not a huge gain for BBRY.
    - Reliability / Efficiency I know it's been fixed, but the reboot issue can't help with reliability concerns.
    07-13-13 07:09 AM
  6. kbz1960's Avatar
    Nice post. I still think their biggest downfall is confidence in execution and timeliness.
    Superfly_FR likes this.
    07-13-13 07:19 AM
  7. DragonFlyer's Avatar
    Well done Superfly. Now go save your marriage before its to late. We will all still be here on Monday.

    Posted via CB10
    07-13-13 07:21 AM
  8. Superfly_FR's Avatar
    Superfly, I find value in everything you posted except one thing. #5 is completely not true. BBRY marketing is terrible.

    The stories we hear of adoption are anecdotal, and from what I've read here, mostly Canadian. It's great if you want to be the Canadian cell phone maker, but not much else.

    I'll take your 4 items and break them down:
    Thanks m1a1mg,
    my thoughts in blue (edit: sorry for CB10 users, now my answers with a leading "=>").


    - Social differentiator and tools (I'll be back about it below) I don't get this at all. BBRY isn't a social phone in the US. How you get it to be is huge. Since I don't think they are marketing well, I can't see how this will come about.

    => That's why I made a clear distinction between marketing and promotion. What you rightly point out has to be addressed by ads and events or any promotional supports. Add some BBM hype.
    Beside the poor "commercial action" and carriers relations (thus the VP fired) I do not believe there's a marketing failure here. Launching a massive communication campaign while all devices (Z+Qs) were not available would have resulted in worst than ever perception. Every single baseline like "keep moving" would have been laughed at and bashed for months.


    - Ease to use / sexiness
    Fair enough, you said it was your perception. But many are posting here about long term BBRY users having a hard time adjusting to the Q10.

    => Yes they might have. That's something I understated in the "learning curve" point.


    - Competitive pricing
    Other phones have been reduced as well, so it's not a huge gain for BBRY.

    => Launch your radars. Promotions are on their way. Too early would not have been a good idea and resulted in "They're so desperate they're selling out their devices", one more punch in the brand positioning. Now that competitors (as you noticed) have reduced their prices, they can follow the subsidized devices trend.


    - Reliability / Efficiency
    I know it's been fixed, but the reboot issue can't help with reliability concerns.
    => Yes, it was ...

    => All together, I believe they have a very limited amount of opportunities to launch massive communication. They fight hard to make the "marketing" thing global (another point I could have developed in OP, BTW). U.S.A (where all the worldwide tech hype is, somehow) was not set to receive it.
    It is now ... and I do want the fireworks to be as big as independence day's ... . Guess what: I'm wearing my sunglasses !
    Last edited by Superfly_FR; 07-13-13 at 12:05 PM.
    cgk likes this.
    07-13-13 07:51 AM
  9. cgk's Avatar
    I don't disagree with any of your individual points but I think they miss the big picture - Bbry is sub-scale for the market, it is trying to complete in a market where even also-rans like Motorola are about to spend $500 million promoting one phone and that is in a market showing slow down. To me the OS is a hygiene factor, if it is good enough it allows you to be in the game but nothing more.
    Superfly_FR likes this.
    07-13-13 10:17 AM
  10. bigbadben10's Avatar
    Awesome post Antoine....looking forward to having a face to face discussion over this very subject over a few glasses of champagne!

    Ben
    Superfly_FR likes this.
    07-13-13 10:35 AM
  11. sosumi11's Avatar
    The big picture is that BlackBerry doesn't have a big picture (device).

    They are still living in a handset world while everyone else is on convergence. They can make the best handset in the world, but if consumers and enterprise want to converge their investment into a full ecosystem, BlackBerry fails every test. Not even a compatible tablet is available!

    It's a dead end system. Plain and simple. This is why the devices are not selling.

    This "strategy" of trying to be relevant by only making handsets is killing the company. They have no vision outside of what other companies are showing them. No media deals. No proprietary software. No developer support.

    No other technology company other than Apple has successfully transitioned their platform. It’s almost never done, and it’s way harder than you realize. This transition is where tech companies go to die.

    Jim Balsillie, 10 April 2011
    07-13-13 11:23 AM
  12. greyw0lf01's Avatar
    Why wasn't this posted under "... support BBRY, I buy stocks", I almost missed it.

    I disagree on the MDM front... Without a clear lead in that area, it'll be tough sledding.
    07-13-13 11:28 AM
  13. sunsetblow's Avatar
    Superfly, I find value in everything you posted except one thing. #5 is completely not true. BBRY marketing is terrible.
    Yeah I stopped reading after that point. BB marketing is "brilliant"? Talk about contrarian.
    07-13-13 11:51 AM
  14. Superfly_FR's Avatar
    I don't disagree with any of your individual points but I think they miss the big picture - Bbry is sub-scale for the market, it is trying to complete in a market where even also-rans like Motorola are about to spend $500 million promoting one phone and that is in a market showing slow down. To me the OS is a hygiene factor, if it is good enough it allows you to be in the game but nothing more.
    N.T market is filled with competitors that were supposed to be "too small too late" ( lol). But BlackBerry is not a new player in the game. They "just" have to stoke the fire; many still believe they hold the best technology or whatever made them glorious 4 years ago ... IMHO. IBM was announced dead, HP was announced dead, Yahoo was announced dead ... they're not. Because they have a trustable history record, something that worth $billions promotion.
    Now, about numbers, my feeling is that we're talking about 1Billion + for the (fiscal) 2014 investment effort. Whit a large (major ?) part for communication and promotion (~marketing).

    BlackBerry is very realistic where it fits into the market and we know that creating volume for customers and shareholders does not involve being everything to everybody.
    fiscal ‘14 will be the year of investment, where we will look to position ourselves appropriately for sustainable growth by the end of fiscal ‘15. The decisions we make are particularly important to us this year, given that the changes and the investments we implement will be the foundation for innovation, quality, competitive cost base and growth of BlackBerry and BES 10 in the coming years.
    07-13-13 12:18 PM
  15. Thunderbuck's Avatar
    I don't disagree with any of your individual points but I think they miss the big picture - Bbry is sub-scale for the market, it is trying to complete in a market where even also-rans like Motorola are about to spend $500 million promoting one phone and that is in a market showing slow down. To me the OS is a hygiene factor, if it is good enough it allows you to be in the game but nothing more.
    Not an unreasonable point of view, but given these conditions what are BB's options? Turn out the lights and go home?

    From the awesome virtual keyboard of my Z10
    07-13-13 12:19 PM
  16. Superfly_FR's Avatar
    The big picture is that BlackBerry doesn't have a big picture (device).

    They are still living in a handset world while everyone else is on convergence. They can make the best handset in the world, but if consumers and enterprise want to converge their investment into a full ecosystem, BlackBerry fails every test. Not even a compatible tablet is available!

    It's a dead end system. Plain and simple. This is why the devices are not selling.

    This "strategy" of trying to be relevant by only making handsets is killing the company. They have no vision outside of what other companies are showing them. No media deals. No proprietary software. No developer support.

    Wow. I really believe my English is so poor, many only read the titles ... or the conclusion
    The OP is all the oposite of what you describe. BB10 is a platform and the device is only the pivot point. The whole ecosystem is BBM/BES driven ... etc.
    And I believe the devices are not selling well because until there's an American hype, the world will still be chilly. That's the way it is in this nerds world.

    Sorry if it was not clear or too painful to read, my bad
    07-13-13 12:24 PM
  17. dusdal's Avatar
    Yeah I stopped reading after that point. BB marketing is "brilliant"? Talk about contrarian.
    It may be that you are misunderstanding marketing for promotion/advertisement?

    Posted via CB10
    Superfly_FR likes this.
    07-13-13 01:12 PM
  18. njblackberry's Avatar
    No misunderstanding. BlackBerry can neither market nor promote.
    The whole premise is absurd.
    sunsetblow, jaymars and mikeo007 like this.
    07-13-13 01:24 PM
  19. robin11's Avatar
    I see Blackberry as having a MAJOR problem: the OS10 phones are integral to the enterprise BES10 MDM system, at least according to Heins' comment that customers believe the Blackberry phone is integral to MDM as part of the "whole package". Although BES10 can also manage iphones and androids, so far, every business person I know (between 40 and 65) that have migrated from an OS7 device to BB10, absolutely HATE the Q10 and Z10. Perception is all to often reality, and if users are turned off by the hardware, I believe it is unlikely they will consider Blackberry software, both enterprise and consumer. Although only anecdotal, from my perspective as a long time Blackberry user, it has never been bleaker for Blackberry. Blackberry had to get the OS10 for their hardware right, and for business consumers, it appears to be a MAJOR fail. Can Blackberry actually fix their OS and change a growing negative perspective? If not, can Blackberry hang on long enough to create a new and functional OS that business and consumer users will be happy with? As a long time Blackberry user that has not yet migrated to OS10, I now have doubts about the product and Blackberry itself.
    07-13-13 01:43 PM
  20. timmy t's Avatar
    I think BBRY expected more promotion from US carriers than it got. It got good promotions from Canadian carriers and it is doing well here.
    Also, they may think that it is better to wait until they have the 3 or 4 phones and the first couple of OS enhancements out before they start promoting it heavily. After all, look what happened to the PlayBook. If they can get some more key apps and put some fine points on the OS, then with the A10 as a flagship, they can start promoting the product line more. Spend the same amount of money to advertise 4 phones rather than one.
    07-13-13 02:05 PM
  21. kbz1960's Avatar
    I think BBRY expected more promotion from US carriers than it got. It got good promotions from Canadian carriers and it is doing well here.
    Also, they may think that it is better to wait until they have the 3 or 4 phones and the first couple of OS enhancements out before they start promoting it heavily. After all, look what happened to the PlayBook. If they can get some more key apps and put some fine points on the OS, then with the A10 as a flagship, they can start promoting the product line more. Spend the same amount of money to advertise 4 phones rather than one.
    I've been seeing all kinds of commercials for the Z and Q from AT&T and VZW
    07-13-13 02:07 PM
  22. cgk's Avatar
    Not an unreasonable point of view, but given these conditions what are BB's options? Turn out the lights and go home?

    From the awesome virtual keyboard of my Z10
    That is why I don't disagree with superfly's points, I think they are generally doing the right things and in many respects the only things they can do but I am not sure it actually matters for reasons they have no control over - same for Nokia (to an extent, they have additional problems).
    07-13-13 02:10 PM
  23. timmy t's Avatar
    I see Blackberry as having a MAJOR problem: the OS10 phones are integral to the enterprise BES10 MDM system, at least according to Heins' comment that customers believe the Blackberry phone is integral to MDM as part of the "whole package". Although BES10 can also manage iphones and androids, so far, every business person I know (between 40 and 65) that have migrated from an OS7 device to BB10, absolutely HATE the Q10 and Z10. Perception is all to often reality, and if users are turned off by the hardware, I believe it is unlikely they will consider Blackberry software, both enterprise and consumer. Although only anecdotal, from my perspective as a long time Blackberry user, it has never been bleaker for Blackberry. Blackberry had to get the OS10 for their hardware right, and for business consumers, it appears to be a MAJOR fail. Can Blackberry actually fix their OS and change a growing negative perspective? If not, can Blackberry hang on long enough to create a new and functional OS that business and consumer users will be happy with? As a long time Blackberry user that has not yet migrated to OS10, I now have doubts about the product and Blackberry itself.
    Do they like Androids and iPhones or do they like the old BBRY phones.
    07-13-13 02:13 PM
  24. pillswoj's Avatar
    Do they like Androids and iPhones or do they like the old BBRY phones.
    You have hit the biggest issue, they like the features the old BB's had, trackpad, notifications etc.

    Blackberry forgot about their core costumers in the chase for the consumer market. BB 10 should have been everything that BB7 was plus the new stuff. As it sits BB10 has no great benefit over apple / android and several deficiencies.
    07-13-13 02:24 PM
  25. Thunderbuck's Avatar
    You have hit the biggest issue, they like the features the old BB's had, trackpad, notifications etc.

    Blackberry forgot about their core costumers in the chase for the consumer market. BB 10 should have been everything that BB7 was plus the new stuff. As it sits BB10 has no great benefit over apple / android and several deficiencies.
    I disagree on pretty much everything you say here.

    BlackBerry didn't "forget" anything. Adopting a new platform inevitably means re-imagining structure and navigation. There were some very good reasons to eliminate the hardware buttons and trackpad; they represent a point of failure and add complexity and cost to the device.

    It's true that BB10 doesn't have all the features that BB7 had. With an architectural change it can take a fair effort to design new implementations. You mentioned notifications, and it's clear that this is receiving attention in 10.2.

    Conceivably, BB could have sweated out development of BB10 until all these issues were addressed, but it probably wouldn't have made it to market even now.

    From the awesome virtual keyboard of my Z10
    07-13-13 04:08 PM
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